Siena Heights University (SHU) was recently recognized as a top performer in the regional Midwest for social mobility by the 2023-2024 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings.

According to the U.S. News & World Report, economically disadvantaged students are less likely to finish college. However, some institutions are more successful than others in advancing social mobility—this is done by enrolling and graduating large proportions of disadvantaged students awarded with Pell Grants. Of the over 1,700 students enrolled at Siena Heights University, approximately 35% received a Pell Grant for the Fall 2023 semester.

Of 164 colleges and universities ranked for social mobility, Siena Heights was tied with a ranking of #28, increasing their position from last year’s ranking of #61. Of the institutions listed in the state of Michigan for social mobility, SHU was placed fourth. Additionally, Siena Heights University tied at #55 for Regional Universities in the Midwest out of 167 ranked institutions. This ranking was 49 places higher than last year.

Of this distinction, Douglas B. Palmer, Ph.D., President of Siena Heights University, said, “Siena Heights University’s latest ranking is a direct reflection of our ability to meet financial needs. It is a testament to our commitment to providing all students with the opportunity to succeed. We are proud to be a place where students from all backgrounds can come together to learn and grow, and where they can achieve their academic and personal goals.”

The overall rankings from the U.S. News & World Report assessed more than 1,500 U.S. bachelor’s degree-granting institutions on various metrics, which were modified in preparation for this year’s rankings. In an effort to place more emphasis on social mobility and outcomes, factors such as first-generation graduation rates and performance, as well as the proportion of college graduates earning more than a high school graduate, were included in the 2023-24 methodology. Other factors used to determine these rankings include undergraduate academic reputation, faculty resources, graduation rates, first-year retention rates, and more. In addition, five long-standing factors were dropped from this year’s calculations, including the proportion of graduates seeking federal loans, high school class standing, alumni giving rate, terminal degree faculty, and class size.

“This ranking is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of our faculty, staff, and students,” Dr. Palmer continued. “We are committed to providing our students with the resources and support they need to succeed and to have that recognized by the U.S. News & World Report is extremely rewarding.”